I'm a new teacher and I'm starting a position at a relatively new school that's had baaaad luck keeping 7/8 grade language arts teachers. In fact, all the middle school teachers are brand new. Anyway, I need to develop a reading workshop and writing workshop launching unit that also integrates content. In fact, I have to develop everything from scratch. Nothing exists and the school has no idea what they want to do. LOL. While there are good suggestions out there for good mini-lessons for a launching unit, most of them are for grades K-5. Have any of you done launching units for 7-8 (reading or writing?) Any suggestions on good lessons, what lessons to do first, etc? Good mentor texts for launching lessons? Also, any idea how to also teach content lessons while doing the launching unit? (I was told to do my reading and writing workshop the first six weeks like this: teach a mini lesson that's specifically a launching mini lesson, have the students practice whatever strategy I'm teaching for the launching mini lesson, teach a content lesson, then have the students write/read independently. My reading block is an hour and my writing block is an hour.) Also, this school is using Words their Way. Any suggestions for when to squeeze in word study? I was thinking of doing it for 10 minutes following independent reading, but I'm a little lost. Sorry so many questions!